Growing Daylilies in the High Country: So much beauty in such a short season

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Growing Daylilies in the High Country

By mcash70
April 9, 2014

It can be very challenging to grow most plants at an elevation of some 3500 feet above sea level, along with long cold winters and short, dry, windy summers with very cool nights.

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Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
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blue23rose
Apr 8, 2014 6:14 PM CST
I love every picture you posted and especially like the way the other flowers frame a couple of them like Which Way Jim, Helen Shooter, and Sabra Salina. You have a lot of patience to wait 3 years for a bloom, but oh they are so worth it. I love the form on Big City Eye x Unk. All of your seedlings are nice looking! Thanks!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
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mcash70
Apr 8, 2014 6:25 PM CST
Thank you very much Vickie, for the very nice comment, I really do appreciate it. Thank You!
Name: Linda
Tucson, Arizona
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quietyard
Apr 8, 2014 8:21 PM CST
Loved all the colorful photos and your well organized article Margaret ! Thumbs up
" And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden" Genesis 2:8
Name: shirlee
southeast (Zone 6b)
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mistyfog
Apr 8, 2014 10:07 PM CST
I applaud your patience and wit in dealing with the short season and cold environment
in your endeavor to grow and hybridize daylilies.

Your seedlings are outstanding, and I enjoyed the article and photos very much.
Very interesting and informative view of gardening in zone 3. I tip my hat to you.
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
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Polymerous
Apr 8, 2014 10:11 PM CST
Thanks very much for this article, and summarizing the climate challenges so neatly.

I have a buddy in Montana for whom I was trying to figure out what daylilies might do well. I was going to give him dormants, but your comment about your elevation made me look at his - he is above 5000 ft! His nighttime temps (at the highest) are in the mid to high 40s! YIKES!

I guess the best (and only) bet is to look for the EE, E, and EM (per your advice) CMOs (because of his cold nights). I am guessing that maybe the best bet would be with the yellows and/or pastels. (How well do colors develop for you?) And maybe I should try to find daylilies whose blooms open recurved here (so they have at least a chance of opening flat *there*)?

(By any chance, do you grow 'Red Volunteer'? That is one of the daylilies I was considering for him.)

Thanks for really making me consider the challenges of growing daylilies under such cold higher altitude conditions.



The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
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mcash70
Apr 8, 2014 11:11 PM CST
Thank you Shirlee and Polymerous for you very nice comments. I tip my hat to you.

@Polymerous Color develops fine for me, but of course it can change in other areas depending on soil conditions, you can select whatever color you think your friend would like , as long as they are the early blooming cultivars, not too ruffled or really thick petals.

I bought Red Volunteer in 2012, the blooms and color were beautiful, last year I did not get a single scape, hoping this year it has settled in and I get to see it bloom again. Green Grin! .
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Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
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chalyse
Apr 8, 2014 11:24 PM CST
Margaret, such a lovely article and your hybrid's are wondrously beautiful! Lovey dubby It is so valuable to learn what works in challenging climates, and to offer solutions that maximize success like focusing on early-bloomers. The colors you have brought forth in your seedlings, and even a great stippled cultivar, are really stunning - you have created daylilies that will thrive, and you've brought delight just by sharing them with us here! Thumbs up Hurray! Group hug
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

Daylilies that thrive? click here! Thumbs up
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
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mcash70
Apr 8, 2014 11:38 PM CST
Tina, thank you very much for the nice comment and the Acorn tip. Smiling I tip my hat to you.
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Garden Photography Garden Procrastinator Daylilies Pollen collector Dog Lover
Moon Gardener Irises Heucheras Vegetable Grower Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Polymerous
Apr 9, 2014 2:09 AM CST
Thanks so much, Margaret. I appreciate your response.

I was so (selfishly) focused on the issue of elevation and short growing season, that I neglected to comment on your seedlings. I love the colors on 'Big City Eye' x unknown, and especially 'Black Eye' x unknown. I'm guessing that those two named cultivars are well suited to your conditions, and thus those seedlings are also? (I am thinking here about something Richard Norris wrote in an essay on northern hybridizing... his point being that you should select as parents those cultivars that perform well under your conditions (not necessarily under their hybridizers' conditions).)

You certainly have a hybridizing challenge there, but how thrilling and rewarding it must be to see those seedlings bloom under such adverse conditions.

The current avatar image is that of a volunteer daylily seedling showing cristation.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
Apr 9, 2014 3:34 AM CST
Margaret, I have always loved the seedling in your avatar and, now that I see some of the others, heartily applaud your choices in the crosses. Beautiful stuff! (and great article Smiling ) Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Apr 9, 2014 5:11 AM CST
Margaret. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! A feast for the eyes.
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
Morning Glories Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants Butterflies Garden Photography
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mcash70
Apr 9, 2014 9:12 AM CST
Thanks everyone for your kind comments, Acorn tips and all the Thumbs up . Smiling I tip my hat to you.
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
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vic
Apr 9, 2014 11:02 AM CST
Margaret, your daylilies are absolutely stunning. I applaud you for growing such beautiful daylilies in such harsh conditions. Thumbs up Thumbs up

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